Duke blows out short handed Miami basketball

The shorthanded Miami basketball team lost 84-55 to Duke on Wednesday at the Watsco Center.

Jan 20, 2024; Syracuse, New York, USA; Miami (Fl) Hurricanes guard Wooga Poplar (5) reacts to a play
Jan 20, 2024; Syracuse, New York, USA; Miami (Fl) Hurricanes guard Wooga Poplar (5) reacts to a play / Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
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The Miami basketball team could not overcome the absences of forward Matthew Cleveland and guard Nijel Pack in an 84-55 loss to Duke at the Watsco Center on Wednesday. Miami lost its fifth straight game for the first time in three years. Miami dropped to 15-12 overall and 6-10 in the ACC.

Miami played well early in the game. After falling behind 14-7, Miami went on a 7-2 run to pull within 16-14 with 10:31 remaining in the game. Duke went on a 13-2 run and never led by single digits the rest of the game. The Blue Devils extended the lead to 40-23 at halftime. Duke continued its domination, outscoring Miami 44-32 in the second half.

Bensley Joseph and Wooga Poplar led Miami with 15 points each. Joseph finished 5-14 from the floor and Poplar was 4-10. Miami shot 31.1 percent from the floor as a team and made six of their 25 three-point attempts. Five players for Duke finished in double figures for Duke, led by Jeremy Roach with 16.

The 29-point win by Duke was a 51-point turnaround from a 22-point loss at Miami last season. Duke shot 51.9 percent from the floor and made 13 of its 29 three-point attempts. Five of the previous seven Miami opponents made over 40 percent of their three-point attempts.

Miami remains in 12th place in the ACC with the loss. The bottom six teams in the ACC begin ACC Tournament play on Tuesday, March 12. Miami is two games and three behind ninth-place Syracuse, who is 8-8 in the ACC. Miami would currently open the ACC Tournament in the first game versus Notre Dame at 2 PM Eastern time.

Georgia Tech plays at Miami on Saturday. The outcome for Miami will heavily depend on the health of Cleveland and Pack. Cleveland was out on Wednesday with an illness. Pack sat out with a knee injury. Pack was initially expected to return by the end of the week. Miami also needs a better performance from freshman Kyshawn George.

dark. Next. Miami without Nijel Pack versus Duke, expected back against GA Tech. Miami without Nijel Pack versus Duke, expected back against GA Tech

George has scored two points on 1-11 shooting in his last two games. Touted as a possible lottery pick, George has a lot to prove over the final four regular season games, plus the ACC Tournament. Poplar also has been touted as a possible first-round pick. The end of the season is critical for George and Poplar.